There are two approaches to real estate: the transactional approach and the relational approach. Answer these five questions to see which one you tend to follow:
1. When you’re working with a client, where is your focus:
a. On the transaction. Gotta get through it!
b. On the relationship. It’s important to build relationships with your clients during and after the transaction.
2. During the transaction, do you:
a. Answer their questions, send through the paperwork, etc. and make sure the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.
b. Help them with the necessary components of the transaction, and also lend an ear when they have concerns, look for emotional cues and offer word of reassurance when necessary.
3. What’s more important:
a. The money, honey. Cha-ching!
b. Building a lasting relationship with the client long after the transaction has closed.
4. Where’s your head at?
a. I have the mindset of a salesperson. I’m there to close the deal.
b. I think like a businessperson. While I want to close the deal, I also want to earn the trust, respect and future business of my clients.
5. How do you spent the first few weeks of the year?
a. Cold calling, putting my face on bus benches and billboards—basically anything to get my name and face out there to get clients.
b. My schedule is packed with lunches and coffees with my A+ clients. When I’m not meeting and calling my clients, I’m sending out my monthly marketing materials, checking in with the referrals I received after my holiday client party and preparing my Valentine’s Day Pop-Bys.
Count up the number of A’s you selected as well as the number of B’s. If you answered mostly B’s: Congratutations, you’re a relational agent! Although relational agents help their clients through their current transactions, they also make sure they meet their emotional needs and plant the seeds for a lasting business relationship.
If you answered mostly A’s: You’re a transactional agent, and you’re not alone. Many real estate agents are purely transactional; that is, they focus on the transaction at hand and lose touch with their clients after the deal is done. Here are a few ways to change that.
“The #1 threat to the real estate industry is being transactional.” –Brian Buffini
Take a cue from the compounding effect. Working by referral relies on the compounding effect. If you want to build a steady, reliable stream of leads, it’s essential to build and maintain your relationships with your clients. Your clients become strong advocates of your business and refer you to their friends and family, thus limiting (and eventually eliminating) the need to make cold calls, etc. to drum up business.
Prioritize your clients. While it’s important to build relationships with all of your clients, the clients who have sent you referrals deserve extra personal attention. Leverage the stacking effect when you’re developing your marketing plan. Send your Marketing Flyers and eReports to everyone in your database, call your top clients more often and be sure to follow up your phone calls with a personal note. And, don’t forget to deliver Pop-Bys to your A+ and A clients when you’re in their neighborhoods. Want an easy way to maintain contact with your clients? Referral Maker® real estate CRM not only helps you to sort your database, it also tells you who to contact each day so that you never lose touch with anyone. Visit ReferralMaker.com for more information and to start your 30-day free trial.
Provide value. Buyers and sellers today are thirsty for information about real estate. Even people who aren’t currently in the market to buy or sell are curious about home values, mortgages rates and even tips about the latest decorating and home renovation trends. Give them what they want in your monthly marketing materials. Providing valuable information not only gives them the scoop on real estate topics, it also reinforces your character and competence, further reinforcing your role as their trusted advisor.
These are just three ways to become a more relational agent. Get in touch with a past client today and begin to build the foundation to a great relationship. And, don’t forget to remind them that you’re never too busy for any of their referrals!